Commonwealth Cup tips – raise a glass to La Rioja at a value price

Commonwealth Cup tips – raise a glass to La Rioja at a value price

La Rioja

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Betting Tip: @ 11/1 with coral

Only the second running of a race that was framed for three-year-old sprinters and got off to the perfect start when last year’s winner Muhaarar went on to become champion sprinter.

Who’s favourite?
Quiet Reflection has been put in as 2/1 favourite to beat just ten rivals, with the soft ground ruling out several of those who might have given her a race. As it stands, she is the top-rated runner (but only just) and receives 3lb from all bar the two other fillies in the race, La Rioja and Illuminate. The winner of three of her four starts at two, including a Group 3 at Newmarket, she was very impressive when beating Donjuan Triumphant by nearly four lengths at Haydock last time, with Buratino and La Rioja further behind, having landed another Group 3 (in France) on her reappearance. Given that she has a long, raking stride, she handles cut in the ground well and that makes her the one they all have to beat.

Who else is fancied?
The aforementioned Donjuan Triumphant reopposes on 3lb better terms and given Richard Fahey’s colt was having his first run of the season and probably didn’t appreciate the drying ground, he’s entitled to finish a lot closer. Arguably his most impressive performance to date came in a French Group 2 last October when hammering his rivals on soft ground, so conditions are perfect for him and he stays 6f well.

Log Out Island was a speedy juvenile and he simply blitzed his rivals in a Listed contest at Newbury last time, making all and winning unchallenged by three and a bit lengths. However, the form may need treating with some caution as he flew out of the stalls in a first-time hood and quickly opened up a ten-length lead without his jockey James Doyle having to do much at all. Having gifted him such a massive lead, his rivals were simply left with too much to do to reel him in and it’s safe to say he was flattered.

French challenger Cheikeljack is an interesting runner as the form of his win in Group 3 Prix Djebel last time has been boosted by subsequent Group wins for the second and third, Ribchester (Wednesday’s Jersey Stakes) and Attendu. He was dropping back to 7f that day, having been campaigned at over a mile, and his jockey was allowed to dictate the pace from the front on desperate ground. Considering he’d been beaten twice in Pattern company previously, it’s not unreasonable to think that result flattered him a bit and he’s now dropping down to 6f and taking on Group 1 company for the first time.

Any decent outsiders?
La Rioja finished well beaten at Haydock, but she too was perhaps inconvenienced by the drying conditions and it came at a time when her trainer Henry Candy was struggling for form. He struck with a 25/1 winner at Newbury last week so may have turned the corner and this filly has always been highly rated, showing her preference for soft ground when hacking up in a Group 3 at Salisbury last September.

Washington Dc and Buratino were winners at last year’s meeting but would prefer faster ground than they will get here.

Best bookie offer?

Paddy Power are refunding losing stakes as a free bet (up to £25) if your horse finishes second to the SP favourite, almost certainly Quiet Reflection.

Who’s going to win?
Whilst Quiet Reflection was super impressive when winning over this trip at Haydock, a couple of her main rivals were caught out by the drying ground and Ascot’s stiff 6f might just find her out – she emptied very quickly when just holding on a in a Group 3 over this trip in France on her penultimate start. Besides, she’s a very short price for her first try and Group 1 company and Donjuan Triumphant could make more of a race of it today. However, the value bet has to be LA RIOJA, who is definitely worth another chance now her stable is showing signs of form and with the ground in her favour.


La Rioja 1pt each-way @ 12/1 Coral (¼ odds, 1.2.3)

Betting Tip: @ 11/1 with coral

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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